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September 6, 2013 4:15 PM, EDT

Trucking Jobs Flat in August; Unemployment Rate Falls to 7.3%

Bruce Harmon/Trans Pixs

The number of trucking jobs in the United States did not change in August from July as the overall unemployment rate decreased to 7.3%, the lowest level since December 2008, the Labor Department said Sept. 6.

The trucking-jobs figure followed a 400-job increase in July that was smaller than the 6,300 originally reported, Labor figures showed.

The transportation sector, which includes trucking, added 12,000 jobs. That followed a loss of 13,900 jobs in July that contrasted with the 4,600-job gain first reported.

Overall, U.S. employers added 169,000 workers to payrolls. That followed a jobs gain of 104,000 in July, which was less than the 162,000 originally reported.

Economists had forecast a 180,000 gain in payrolls, Bloomberg News reported. The unemployment rate, which fell from 7.4%, was lower than economists’ forecast of a flat 7.4% rate.

Private payrolls rose by 152,000 following a 127,000 increase in July that was revised downward from 161,000.

Construction was unchanged, and manufacturing jobs rose, adding 14,000 positions. Retailers added 44,000 jobs.

The unemployment rate is derived from a separate survey of households than the payrolls survey.